Littlewoods seeks to cut 100 top managers

LITTLEWOODS, the retail and football pools empire, will today announce plans to cut 20 per cent of its head office management jobs in an attempt to streamline decision-making and revitalise the group's corporate culture.

Littlewoods is offering voluntary redundancy terms to 500 head-office managers and is hoping they will be accepted by at least 100. The Liverpool- based business has earmarked between pounds 4m and pounds 6m to cover the costs, although these are included in the pounds 73m restructuring provisions announced earlier this year.

The payments equate to an average of pounds 50,000 per person, the equivalent of two years' salary, the company said.

Littlewoods is also planning to simplify its pay and benefits scheme. Currently there are 22 "zones", or employment levels, including nine for management. These will be reduced to a flatter structure with individually negotiated contracts. The company's fleet of 700 company cars will also be reduced. The move is part of plan to consolidate Littlewoods' three divisional offices in Liverpool into one site.

The restructuring is being led by Barry Gibson, the Littlewoods chief executive. He is trying to introduce a more modern, dynamic management approach based on performance rather than length of service.

The company has also announced plans to strengthen its board. Susan Murray, who ran the Smirnoff vodka brand for Grand Metropolitan before the merger with Guinness, is joining as marketing director. David Hallett has joined from Argos as information technology director. The search is continuing for a new finance director to replace Jim Michie, who has moved to become corporate development director.

At the trading level, high-street stores currently being tested under the Berkertex banner have performed no better than those under the existing Littlewoods name. Although a final decision will not be taken until after the Christmas peak sales period, it is considered unlikely that the Littlewoods name will be entirely jettisoned.

Littlewoods and Granada have announced further details of their new home shopping channel that will run on digital television. Called "Shop!", the channel will begin broadcasting from Albert Dock Studios in November. Littlewoods is in talks with other retailers who may join the channel, although it is unlikely that any will sign before the launch of ONdigital, the Granada and Carlton joint venture, in November.

Littlewoods plans to run trial "new media centres" in two of its stores from November to coincide with the launch. The stores in High Wycombe and Birkenhead will feature separate areas with television sets and armchairs where customers can order from the Littlewoods Index Extra catalogue and place orders via the television channel.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'